Okay, I realize this piece is a departure from my usual writings here, but since many of us are suffering the aftermath of holiday eating, I couldn’t hold this back. I found a study on the link between coffee (or tea) and a BETTER WORKOUT. There really has been testing on this, so read on . . .
For me, and for a great many, there’s no better way to start the day than with a good cup of coffee. A hot fresh one in my favorite mug, the morning paper or another favorite morning read, and a few minutes to relax and get ready for the day ahead . . . oh, yeah! Thinking about that cup of coffee, I’d have to say that it makes just about any time of day just a bit better . . . but a better work out? Hmmm.
There was a study recently done which sought to prove just that. Specifically, the study was seeking a link between caffeine and exercise and whether in fact that cup can make you a better sport! Does it enhance performance? Will it enhance your enjoyment of your workout? We have known for years of the jolt from coffee and athletes have been clear on the benefits shown in their running, their cycling, and in Olympic events, but now the question is whether these same benefits can be shown linked to less aerobic physical activity? If it benefits those who perform in sports with constant activity, does this also mean it has those same results for other sports with less continuous action? Why or why not?
Well, scientists at Coventry University in England wanted an answer and conducted the study. Some details of the study:
· Participants: 13 healthy young men
· Asked to drink a sugar free caffeine laden drink one hour before a weight lifting routine
· Asked on another occasion to drink the same without caffeine prior to the same workout
The results? The participants in the study performed longer and stronger with caffeine than without. It is interesting to note that not only were they less tired, but their general attitude toward working out was improved and the participants who drank a beverage with caffeine were more eager to get in another workout!
According to an author of the study, “Essentially, we found that with the caffeinated drink, the person felt more able to invest effort,” says Michael Duncan, a senior lecturer in sports science at the University of Exeter in England and lead author of the study. Caffeine is know to increase the level of fats in the blood and thus the originally known fact of certain athletes able to perform stronger made sense. However, for the men performing a weight lifting routine, the increase of fats in the blood would not have had the same effect. It is not entirely known why they found both a physiological and psychological benefit. Clearly, however, the results of this study did show this. The doctor believes that the caffeine enables muscles to contract with more force by fighting against substances in the blood which fight against this, however more study is needed to confirm this.
While the full analysis on caffeine consumption in general, quantity, in what form, etc., is not yet totally clear, one can reasonably consider that this does show many will find the travel mug in the car will perhaps see more attention on the way to a workout! Stayed tuned for further study results on this exciting news!